Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Most Gratifying Thing in My Business

A couple weeks ago two young people from DNL got married on an absolutely beautiful Sunday afternoon. Michael, who manages our finance department, and Allie, who is a talented goldsmith and jeweler in our production department, met at work, had a wonderful year and a half long courtship, and then were married in one of the most beautiful and idyllic ceremonies I've ever had the honor of being invited to. The wedding, and reception afterword, was one that was filled with happiness, love between family and friends, and good-natured fun which was best represented by the absolute joy on Michael and Allie's faces. They were kind enough to mention me in their little speech at the reception, and I felt a great sense of pride and fulfillment that I could be mentioned as part of the catalyst that brought these two great kids together.

Diamond Nexus, the company, is in its seventh year now, and in that time we've seen three weddings between people that met in the company and at least eight babies being born to our staff that I can think of. I love when our "DNL moms" bring their babies in and show them off around the office for the first time.

There are many goals that we have in business: Growth, profitability, competitive advantage, and others, but the thing that, probably more than anything else, brings me happiness at this stage in my life and career are these little moments of happiness and family-connection that I feel with my DNL tribe . One of the things I'm most sorry about in my life is that I do not have children. Watching these young, talented, people at DNL grow and succeed and launch lives and families of their own is tremendously gratifying and moving for me.

Michael and Allie, I wish you many, many years of happiness, joy and accomplishment. I hope that, not too long from now, I'll have an opportunity to bounce another "DNL baby" in my arms!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

How To Grow A Business-Interlude 1. Be Crazy About How You Take Care Of Your Customers.

I grew up in business. My father was a serial entrepreneur and his lifelong dream was to build a business and run his own show. He never achieved the really big, breakthrough success that I think he desired, but he did okay. He was also one of the kindest, gentlest men one could ever meet, and he was truly loved by those who knew him, but that's a story for another time.

He had a lot of ups and downs in his business career but the one thing he could always count on was customer loyalty the likes of which is rarely seen today. My dad died when he was 72 years old, and he was still running his business right up to that last day. He had customers that were still active who had been with him nonstop for 40 years. You don't get that kind of loyalty without some pretty incredible level of dedication to customer service.

Friday, January 14, 2011

DNL Holiday Party - Whoa.

Planet DNL is rarely a dull place, and that was proven again at the 2010 Holiday Party, the latest in a long line of crazy DNL blowouts! Another amazing record year is always an excuse for some over-the-top behavior, and the party didn't disappoint. Our people work their butts off, and I love to see them relax and party the same way. We took over the entire Stonefly Brewery club and packed it wall to wall with DNL'ers and our guests. We actually ran them out of tequila, another proud DNL moment!

Check out the great video:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hard To Come Up With Enough Ways To Say Thank You

2010 is in the books, and it's been another amazing year. Like every business in America, DNL was faced with the worst economy in two generations. In 2009 and 2010 the jewelry industry contracted at a rate that hasn't been seen since the Great Depression. Literally thousands of small local jewlers, as well as some of the biggest names in the industry simply went out of business and dissapeared. Early in the year I challenged our team to figure out a way for us to grow the business regardless of the economic climate. I believe that this down economy is not just a short-term phenomenon, but a systemic change in the US and world economies. Until the incredibly complex and overwhelming problems of massive global sovereign debt work themselves through, we will continue to only see short-term "bubbles" of prosperity.